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Falling Gas Prices Welcome but Inflation Persists

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Fuel Pump | Image by Shutterstock

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Now that the summer driving season is in the rearview mirror, Americans can look forward to some easing of prices at the gas pump.

After peaking at an all-time-high national average of $5.016 per gallon in June, gas prices have finally begun to head in the opposite direction.

As of September 8, the average fuel price is $3.751 per gallon, as per AAA.

Gas prices are hovering at their lowest levels in six months, which is welcome news after the sticker shock that consumers across the country have been experiencing while filling up in 2022.

As long as there is no oil supply disruption, gas prices should continue on this downward trajectory, according to  Patrick DeHaan, GasBuddy’s head of petroleum analysis, quoted by CNBC.

Prices could even fall below the $3 per gallon threshold in some states before the year is over.

Energy expert John Kilduff, the founding partner at Again Capital, said consumers should consider themselves lucky for the price declines, telling CNBC:

“This is putting a lot of money back in people’s pockets. It gives people some relief and the economy some relief. It’s like a huge tax cut for consumers.”

However, not everybody is convinced that the savings from the pump will end up in people’s wallets.

At 9.6%, the national inflation rate is still running hot, with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell making it clear that the fight against higher prices is not over. In the meantime, consumers are continuing to experience sticker shock when shopping for basics like groceries.

The transportation industry has long been considered a gauge of where the economy is headed. According to some truckers responsible for moving freight across the country, the pain is not yet over.

Truckers featured by Fox 13 Memphis stated that as long as diesel fuel continues to hover at lofty levels, consumers will still be forced to pay higher prices at the cash register, including for groceries.

Trucker Darius Smith of Jackson, Mississippi, stated:

“Man, it’s ridiculous right now. I don’t know how long freight is going to be able to move like this. It’s going to have to go down or something, or the freight will have to go up.”

Another trucker told Fox 13 that unless diesel fuel falls below the key $5 per gallon level, higher costs will continue to be passed on to Americans.

Trucker Travis Blackmon of Horn Lake, Mississippi, suggested that the price of diesel fuel would have to be slashed in half for cost benefits to show up in everyday prices.

Even for diesel, the wildcard at the pump is still Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Recently, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that the country would stop oil and gas exports if the U.S. implemented a price ceiling, which fueled a 1% rise in crude oil price on Thursday.

Meanwhile, U.S. strategic petroleum reserves are hovering at their lowest level in nearly four decades, suggesting that any relief in the price of oil will be short-lived once the current administration stops selling barrels of oil at the current pace.

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Ran
Ran
2 months ago

The only reason gas is cheap right now is that Biden is releasing 1M barrels a day from our strategic reserve! This is treasonous and we are at our lowest level in 60 years. He is depleting vital resources to help protect the American citizens. Be ready people for full government takeover starting with massive depression starting just after Nov elections. They are stalling all the terrible plans until after the elections.